Google defends Motorola purchase: More than just a patent sale

Google defends Motorola purchase: More than just a patent sale

Summary: Google's annual shareholder meeting threw open some interesting questions. Was the Googorola deal all about the patents? According to the search giant, "no," but it helped.


Google had to defend itself over the purchase of smartphone maker Motorola Mobility at its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, only weeks after the $12.5 billion deal cleared regulatory approval.

The message Google wants shareholders to take away: "It's not all about the patents."

Keep telling yourself that, Google.

In the group meeting, shareholders asked every question they could think of, from matters of privacy to areas of mobile advertising, online video offerings and prior acquisitions: all with the intention of seeking justification from Google in its actions. After all, the company is in the hands of the shareholders, rather than the other way around.

But Motorola remained with heavy focus on the meeting. Why did Google buy Motorola for $12.5 billion?

"...for the sum of patents, products, the people, and the innovation," Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt told attendees.

Google has sought to boost its wireless patent portfolio in a bid to hold Android competitors at bay amid flying shrapnel from patent lawsuits from both Apple and Microsoft, among others.

The 17,000 patents it acquired from the Motorola purchase was as one might imagine a bonus --- if not the overall incentive --- to buy the company, but Google recognises that there is more to a deal than just few thousand scraps of patent certificates.

But Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer, said that shareholders shouldn't expect the search giant to integrate Motorola into its own operations, according to MarketWatch, maintaining the company's stance that Motorola should be held at arms length to keep other Android hardware makers happy.

Pichette called the buyout an investment for the long term. "Think of Google in a way taking Motorola private," he said. "We're making sure it has everything it needs to win in its own space."

Larry Page wasn't in attendance --- he lost his voice --- and would not speak at Google I/O next week, and may miss the company's second-quarter earnings next month. Now I've had my fair share of sore throats but never have I had one that silenced me for the best part of a month.

Motorola's performance will be dished out during Google's second-quarter earnings on July 14.

Image credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET.


Topics: Mobility, Banking, Google, Hardware, Security, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

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  • Keep telling yourself that, Google?

    Google can use Motorola's losses against it its profits. So the purchase it around the $4 billion mark.
  • Google NEEDS Motorola's Expertise

    The patents were the icing on the cake.
    Motorola makes very reliable phones.
    Google Does Not...
    - Make a Reliable Phone
    - Have a Clue about what it takes to make a reliable phone.
    - Have any experience making a reliable phone.

    I have over 30 years experience in Voice and Data development.
    I have owned an Android Phone (Galaxy S) since Dec. 2010.
    Fortunately I do not rely on a mobile phone. I will occasionally forward my land lines to the mobile when I am out of the office for an extended period of time.

    With this limited use I still have had way too many issues with the most bacic functions.
    - Phone often does not ring when there is an incoming call
    - Too often I cannot answer the phone. When I swipe the answer bar it just bounces back without answering.

    I have developed a Windows SMS Text app. The app uses a GPRS modem to send and receive Text messages. Two of the features are sending messages to a list of recipients and keyword auto responder.

    In testing I set the Windows app to send my Android 10,000 sequentially numbered messages. A GPRS modem is limited by the cell tower to send 10-20 messages per minute. This gives the android at least 3 seconds to receive and store each incoming message. The Android cannot keep up. After the app has completed send the messages, the Android is still busy receiving for hours after. The Android often crashes while receiving.

    The GPRS modem app takes less than 200 millisecond to receive, store a message, and clear the incoming flash message box. So why it takes Android over 3 seconds is beyond my comprehension. The only conclusion is Google is incompetent. The iPhone can keep up no problem.

    To test the auto responder I created half a dozen one character "keywords" alternating a one character response and a 160 character responding message.

    From the Android I send these keywords as fast as possible where there is a constant flurry of outgoing and incoming messages. This is an SMS torture test. The Android crashes within one minute. The iPhone crashes (requiring a power cycle) after about 40-50 messages (~5-10 minutes).

    What causes the crash is the collision of an incoming message with the outgoing message. It is no easy feat to write code that withstand this type of testing. A more rigorous test I run is having the GPRS modem transmit 10,000 messages to it self. The GPRS modem will crash somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 messages. This crash is due to the Wavecom Q24 SMS chip hanging after a collision within a very small window of time, less than 10 milliseconds, the exact window cannot be measured due to the PC's rather long clock tick.

    So why does the Android crash or fall way behind when the GPRS modem app can easily handle receiving messages as fast as the cell tower can send them? Conclusion, Android sucks!

    The Android has issues with the most basic features, receiving phone calls and SMS messages. Google NEEDS help. Motorola has the expertise Google needs.
    • Wow! I wish understanding that were as easy as reading it. Thanks.